Sunday, December 27, 2009

Magnesium Sleep

According to clinical nutritionists if you can’t sleep at night, have restless leg syndrome (RLS) or experiencing night terrors it might be due to a magnesium deficiency. A magnesium sleep deficiency causes people to wake up frequently during the night. Other health concerns due to a magnesium deficiency are; constipation, anxiety, irritability, pain, etc (see list below).

Researchers have found that magnesium takes part in the transmission of hormones (such as insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, etc.), neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, catecholamines, serotonin, GABA, etc.), and minerals and mineral electrolytes.

This research concludes that magnesium controls cell membrane thus controlling the release of many hormones, nutrients and neurotransmitters. It is magnesium that manages the outcome of potassium and calcium in the body. A deficiency will only lead to calcium being deposited in soft tissues such as kidneys, arteries, joints, brain etc. and both potassium and calcium lost in urine.

Magnesium protects our cells from aluminum, mercury, lead, cadmium, beryllium and nickel. Low levels of magnesium can contribute to a heavy metal deposition in the brain that may be responsible for Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. This heavy metal toxicity may bring about learning disorders in children.

What Causes a Magnesium Deficiency?

Due to many years of replanting on farm lands, magnesium is constantly depleted in our soil. Fertilizers also contribute to this depletion by altering the way plants can absorb magnesium. We are drinking less tap water which is a common magnesium source, but even this natural water source has low supplies. When we boil, steam or broil food it removes the magnesium. High carb and fat foods increase our need for more magnesium as well as physical and emotional stress. Certain medications, aging and dieting also reduces our magnesium.

A magnesium deficiency may be severe enough to be diagnosed by a blood test, but many researchers feel that a testing the bones and intracellular levels tell the true results. A high magnesium, low aluminum diet has shown to help with sleep, fewer awakenings or uninterrupted sleep. Foods rich in magnesium are kelp, wheat bran, almonds, cashews, blackstrap molasses and brewer’s yeast. Magnesium supplements have also helped those with sleep problems.

If you decide to take a magnesium supplement make sure it is combined with calcium as they act together as a sedative. The ratio should be 2:1 meaning at least 600 mg of calcium and 250-300 mg of magnesium. This combination will aid muscle contractions, RLS and is effective for all-round relaxation.

If you have any other health problems, it is advisable to consult with your physician before considering a magnesium-calcium supplement, especially if you are experiencing any type of kidney condition as this could be harmful or even life threatening.

The following are additional health problems associated with a low deficiency of magnesium for sleep:

  • Alzheimer's
  • Angina
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Arrhythmia
  • Arthritis- Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Auto immune disorders- all types
  • Cavities
  • Cerebral Palsy- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Congestive Heart Disease
  • Constipation
  • Crooked teeth- narrow jaw- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Depression
  • Diabetes- Type I and II
  • Eating disorders- Bulimia, Anorexia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gut disorders- including peptic ulcer, Crohn's disease, colitis, food allergy
  • Heart Disease- Arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, high triglycerides
  • Heart Disease- in infants born to magnesium deficient mothers
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Impaired athletic performance
  • Infantile Seizure- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Insomnia
  • Kidney Stones
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • Migraines- including cluster type
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle weakness, fatigue
  • Myopia- in children from magnesium deficient mothers
  • Obesity- especially obesity associated with high carbohydrate diets
  • Osteoporosis- just adding magnesium reversed bone loss
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • PMS- including menstrual pain and irregularities
  • PPH- Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Raynaud's
  • SIDS- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Syndrome X- insulin resistance
  • Thyroid disorders- low, high and auto-immune; low magnesium reduces T4

As you can see magnesium sleep problems are just one of many health concerns with a deficiency of magnesium. Other conditions are also associated with magnesium deficiencies and further research is being conducted to confirm its relationship.
GLG America Logo

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Easy Sleep Mad Cow

Mad Cow or Prion Disease and Fatal Familial Insomnia

If you ever watched Boston Legal, Denny Crane played by actor William Shatner always blamed his “Mad Cow Disease” whenever he forgot something or blundered an important case. Mad Cow disease has similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s when people start out by having occasional lapses in memory. On the show Denny would do something out of the ordinary to keep people off track or unaware of his mild cognitive impairment. While this made the show entertaining, mad cow disease is no laughing matter. Luckily humans don’t get mad cow disease easily. Cows get mad cow disease by eating food that contained infectious parts of older dead cows. Cheap hamburger is made from old dairy cows comprised of thousands of body parts blown right off the bones of steers and cows. The older the cow the likelihood of mad cow or prion disease is more prevalent.

Prions are mysterious proteins that have an unknown function until they twist their shape and become a destructive force infecting other prions in their path. As these defective prions hit the brain they inflict devastation on their victim whether it be sheep, cows or people, they will literally lose their minds. Prions are connected to cannibalism, fatal familial insomnia and hamburgers.

The strange thing about prions to cause an infection you need to replicate and usually only proteins with nucleic acid can do that, but prions don’t. They have no nucleic acid or DNA. Scientist do not know what their primary function is and blocking prions doesn’t seem to affect the brain. All they do know is when one become infected it becomes a chain reaction and more likely death will result. How do prions get infected? If you ingest infected or malformed prions it will make healthy prions become infected, genetic mutation (bad DNA) as in fatal familial insomnia and randomly.

Infected prions will basically kill brain cells either all over or can pinpoint a particular area say the thalamus and over time will completely eliminate it. This process is slow and people don’t get sick or show any signs of mad cow until middle age. Fatal familial insomnia victims suffer from a stressful event before they show symptoms.

800,000 years ago in New Guinea the people practiced a ritual mortuary cannibalism which is the consumption of the dead as a way of honoring them to make themselves more powerful. They made the mistake of consuming people that were infected causing a prion plague and those that survived had it programmed into their genome. To this day some humans still have that program or signature in their genes. When mad cow came along it helped scientist understand the disease and limit the damage. Mad cow fortunately comes from a bovine prion protein and is different enough that it isn’t a very effective infector.

One way to deter mad cow disease is to test all the cows for mad cow, but as it stands the USDA doesn’t require testing as they try to protect foreign markets and prevent all beef producers from the expense. Of course the drug companies will benefit as they have two drugs that show results. The more we understand about prions and the failure of proteins to form properly will help people who have Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and Type II diabetes, let alone fatal familial insomnia.
GLG America Logo

Monday, December 14, 2009

How To Go Asleep

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine women suffer twice as likely from the sleep disorder insomnia than men. Insomnia can cause other health problems just like not eating a proper diet or lack of exercise. Many people take prescription sleeping pills such as Ambiem which is a popular sleep aid in the United States. Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods have taken this medication according to news reports. Before you decide to take a prescription sleep aid let’s consider some theories about how to go asleep.

Gregg D. Jacobs, MD., an insomnia specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Massachusetts and author of Say Goodnight to Insomnia, oversaw a sleep study and found that those who slept seven hours a night might live longer than those that slept eight hours or more. He feels that too much sleep can cause health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Also, sleeping twelve hours or more is a sign of someone suffering from depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. Women on average sleep only 6.5 hours and as a result are experiencing daytime restlessness, mood swings, easily distracted, memory loss due to sleep deprivation.

Now many people can live normally on less than the recommended hours of sleep. The University of Utah reported that genetics plays an important part and with women hormones, age, stress, diet and general health can also affect the amount of sleep you need. Married women seem to require less than single women, but newly married women get less. Stress with emotional issues such as a loss of a spouse or those new moms lose sleep.

When you lose sleep there is no way to recover even if you try to sleep in on weekends or holidays. If you suffer from insomnia and over sleep, it will feel like you have jet lag. This is due to the fact that you disrupted your natural sleep cycle. Just try to sleep the standard amount of hours a night and eventually you will feel normal again. Worrying about losing sleep will only add additional stress to your life and make your insomnia worse.

You might think that have a good stiff drink will help you to get to sleep. Alcohol will make you drowsy and help to get you to sleep, but you might have a harder time staying asleep. Those that suffer from sleep apnea will snore louder, so alcohol will only exacerbate the disorder. If you do decide to take Ambien or another sleeping pill and mix them with alcohol you will only intensify the affects of the drug. You may blackout, suffer from memory loss or experience erratic behavior, especially out of the ordinary sexual behavior such as being aggressive or trying something you would never do otherwise. Remember Ambien has been used as a date rape drug.

Also sleeping pills are addictive, particularly those that are known as non-benzodiazepine hypnotics. These types of sleeping aides should not be used longer than a month as people have become psychologically dependent on them. You should adhere to the prescribed dosage as well as read the warning label about the risks involved. Sometimes a few lifestyle changes are all that is needed to help with your insomnia than taking a risks with medications.

If you like to nap it is best to nap early in the afternoon and only for 45 minutes or less. A “power nap” can give you the energy you need and improve your memory to make it through the rest of the day. Naps that are longer than 45 minutes or after 4pm may affect your ability to fall asleep at your bedtime as you will stay up longer and get less than 7 hours of sleep. This can be a vicious cycle and definitely a bad sleeping habit that should never be a part of your nightly routine. If you require 7 hours of sleep at night that means you have to be asleep by 11:30pm to get up by 6:30. You need at least an hour before you retire to prepare your mind and body for sleep. Take a warm bath, have a cup of Sleepytime decaf tea, read a boring book, write in your sleep journal, get your comfy jammies on, brush your teeth. Your brain will associate going to sleep as you repeat your routine nightly. When you go to bed turn off the television, your computer and your video games as your bedroom should only be used for sleep and sex. It is harder for your mind to relax if it is thinking about the show or how to get to the next level on the New Super Mario Brothers. If you find you cannot sleep, get up for a bit before trying to fall asleep again. It is better to get up and move around than toss and turn. Maybe your room is too warm; keep the temperature at 65 degrees or less so you don’t over heat.

If you get up and find yourself hungry as this is a natural tendency to want to eat when we are tired. Remember that eating at this time of night not only adds calories, but what you eat can cause heart burn, acid reflux or indigestion, which will only wake you up during the night. If you must snack, snack on foods that can cause you to be drowsy. Foods rich with tryptophan such as eggs, nuts, seeds, cereal, turkey and milk will help you to fall asleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that converts to melatonin and serotonin which is produced in our body naturally and controls our sleep/wake cycle. Tryptophan as a supplement is not recommended, but melatonin is available at your local health food store or pharmacy.

I hope you find these tips on how to go asleep helpful. For those that feel their insomnia is causing health problems it is advisable to consult with a physician as she/he may recommend that you see a sleep specialist for further treatment.
GLG America Logo

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sleep Easy Use Magnesium for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Restless Leg Syndrome or RLS is a sleep disorder that is described by an overwhelming urge to move your legs when you are trying to rest, especially during sleep. RLS may be linked to genetics as it runs in families and affects roughly 10% of the American population. Recent studies show that people with RLS are deficient in magnesium.

The National Sleep Foundation states that six of ten Americans report having a sleep problems including sleep apnea which causes a person to stop breathing and snore, narcolepsy which triggers daytime restlessness, insomnia from hormonal activity and the use of medications, caffeine and alcohol.

People with restless leg syndrome experience sensations such as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling and achy from their thighs to their ankles, but mostly occur in the calves. To relieve these sensations, people have a strong urge to walk which causes them to have sleepless nights.

A study done by the Romanian Journal of Neurology and Psychiatry, conducting biochemical and neurological tests on 10 cases of restless leg syndrome suggest that RLS sufferers wake frequently, have decreased REM sleep and are magnesium deficient.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota reported that magnesium plays an important role in the body’s chemistry for sleep. Low magnesium in the blood could be why people have abnormal brain waves during sleep and that magnesium treatment improved not only their brain waves but also decreased the time it took them to fall asleep.

Using magnesium for sleep as a sleep aide depends on the dosage and formula used. Researchers found that calcium is needed to absorb the magnesium in the body so the formula should contain 2 to 1 ratio of calcium to magnesium. One natural sleep aide supplement, Sleep Minerals II made by Nutrition Breakthroughs has reported good results in helping RLS sufferers. Sleep Minerals II contains the following ingredients; six types of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail all combined in a soft get with an oil base. The oils used to make the soft gel are evening primrose which also aides with mineral absorption, reduces calcium excretion, and increases bone density. Using the right kind of magnesium supplement might be the answer to restless leg syndrome relief to sleep easy.

The content provided in Sleep Easy use Magnesium for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.
GLG America Logo